How Do You Market Yourself
you have to have your own website, and it has to be maintained regularly. You have to be able to have somewhere to send your clients to look at your work, and the idea is to break that down into categories that are digestible. Ah, your website needs toe have ease of use so that if it's got a flash player and it's not playing and you're going to get about seconds before that art director, or that a person who is looking to hire you is like all right, I'm done literally. There is an attention span for most of us about this much on the Internet and pain in patients with websites that don't work. So make sure it's representative of your work. Keep it tight, keep it tightly edited because you don't you're gonna get about five or six looks. Click, click, click, click, click. I will know if I want to hire you. I know personally when I look at somebody s website like if I want to hire them as a stylist or I want to hire them as a proper 12345 so you don't catch my attention with five pictures...
. I'm not interested. Portfolios not as prevalent anymore have a print portfolio. It's an expense tohave a print portfolio done to keep it maintained. There are sites out there where you can build a new online kind of book, and this is what we use at the agency that represents me. Uh, I need print portfolios every once in a while, and they send them to this company, and they do Beautiful job of printing, binding, and they're reasonable. Reasonably priced. They're not, is durable over time, so you probably need to print them a couple times a year if But ultimately it's way easier than trying toe goto a printer. Print out your prints. Get a book, put him in the book, send them out. Um, but if you yeah, if you find you need a print portfolio, I would seek out those kind of companies and ones that are local for you or me, even ones on the Internet. But if you don't need feel like anyone's ever asked you for a print portfolio, don't feel like you have to make one and have one in reserve, because by the time you use it, your imagery is gonna be old. Um, I've said this a couple of times not going to belabor the point. You need to be active. Your social media needs to be representative of what you do. But I also think that because it's a social activity that we do outside of our work, you need to designate whichever one of those is going to be personal and do it personally. And whichever one is gonna be professional designated and do it professionally. But don't cross pollinate because your politics or your family pictures and all these things that are blended in with your work will affect how clients see you. And it's unfortunate that you have to. You don't want to share all those things with everybody who wants to hire you because they it's not necessary that they know you're a new mom, right, because that might be held against you because they think that your time is being spent at home. Or maybe they don't want to know what your politics are because their politics don't agree with that. All of those things are business decisions. So if you want your Facebook to be the thing that you do, your personal thing on that. You can still post your work there occasionally for show. But I would be very careful about who can see that, because if it's wide open and everybody can see all those things, you don't want everybody knowing what you can do and what you can do and what you feel. You can't live out loud and business. It's really hard. Instagram Instagram belongs to you as a photographer, and if you want to have a personal instagram and a professional instagram, go for it. But whatever you're doing, that's the one that people will look at first. Facebook is is a little bit too wild and woolly for me as far as professional stuff, and Twitter has become, ah, megaphone. It's really not part of what we do any more as food photographers. I barely use my Twitter account for that. I like to rant and rave on it, though, but like everyone else, but the idea is that they've all kind of found their own lane mailers. It's sort of old, snail mail kind of thing, but it's promo pieces are still done. We still do them, we bring them and we send them out to art directors and we send about the magazines and send about agencies, and it's still nice to get. And I was a little taken aback the last time I spoke to my agent. She's like that. We need to do a mailer. We need to do a promo, and I'm like, We still do that on She was like, Yeah, people still love it and it's still a good way to get outside of the fray contests. I am currently judging a couple of photo contests, and I'm going to be entering a couple for the first time in a long way along while I've been asked by my new representation to kind of get out there and I'm like, What? I'm judging contest there like No, get in there and put your work out there. Eso I couldn't escape that one, but it's ah, it's still an important thing to get out there and, um, put your work up against other artists and see what the responses And there are all kinds of different contests to enter. There's big ones, those little ones, this Facebook ones. Any time you're out there getting critiqued, um, letting people see your work being vulnerable. As an artist, you will learn from it and it sometimes it hurts. But the reality is it's as, ah, creative. You want to use the tools that are at our disposal to grow. But if you don't put yourself out there, they're not going to know what's next and what's next is really important in our business, right? We have to know how we're gonna progress. This is another kind of, ah, going into Facebook groups. There's a couple out there that I've participated in as sort of a mentor, um, and helped younger photographers or people who are different stages of the business and talk to them and offer them advice and kind of given. Um, and I feel like they're very supportive of one another, and I think that it's another really good mechanism for professional growth and idea trained trading. I also belong to a group in New York City off professional photographers. I'm were all in food and we sit around tables in restaurants and gripe about all the things that we have to gripe about and considering we're all considered food, photographers are experiences is so different and that's why it's important to kind of network with people in the industry because I learned so much. Every time I go and talk to this group of men and women, when because different ages have different experiences, have different client bases, and then they we share the horror stories, really, you know, and what went wrong? It's not about drumming their chests and look what are due this week. You know, it's it's about what went wrong, you know, and what negotiation was really hard. And all of those things matter. So is whether it's on Facebook or in person. If you form networks and you form groups, it's really good for your business because you learn things that you can overcome without having to experience them. And this is another kind of paid kind of business services that are out there things like portfolio reviews and showcases. These are the portfolio review system, like things like Lebouc, this is me, not liberal. I mean showcases like the book or or production paradise and things like that, where they collect imagery from particular artists for price, and they put them together in a book and they send them out to art buyers so they send them out the advertising agencies and and different art buyers so that your work is being shown. And I've done portfolio reviews in the past. And I feel that people walk away from it, really understanding better what it is that they do well and what they maybe should leave behind. And when you talk to a professional who flips through your book and in 30 seconds can tell you five different things that you're doing well, which feels really good and five different things that you could do better, which is knowledge? Ah, it's really it's It's a great way to grow as you're in a business. And then also, these meeting greets your meeting professionals in the industry again. You can ask questions to say I had this issue with the client. I'm not quite sure what I should have done. I did it this way. Do you think I could have done it better? And if that person says, Well, I think he did the best you could in that situation, then you realize Okay, good. I'm where I am